2019 Dutton Palms Chardonnay
92 Points - Robert Parker
93 Points - California Grapevine
Dutton Ranch farms more than 80 separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Planted in 1980, the Dutton Palms Vineyard encompasses Joe and Tracy's home vineyard. The Wente clone is trellised to a modified version of Geneva Double Curtain (GDC.) The hills & valley floor of the vineyard consist of the traditional sandy loam Goldridge soil that is most prominent in the Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley appellations. The vines are planted in sandy loam Goldridge soil allowing for excellent drainage from this hilltop vineyard. The vineyard is certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly. It is dry-farmed and historically produces grapes of consistent character.
Dutton Palms is crafted with 100% barrel fermentation, and 100% malolactic fermentation, just the way Tracy Dutton likes it. This Chardonnay was aged in 50% new French oak, specifically Francois Freres barrels. Although the oak component plays a role in the wine, Green Valley in known for its complexity in Chardonnay, which shines through with Dutton Palms.
Aromas of orange blossom flowers and apricot leap from this golden colored wine, with subtle pie crust and vanilla. A true, full and smooth Russian River Chardonnay, the flavor of baked apple is interlaced with caramel and finishes with indulgent butterscotch pudding. A cream based pasta dish or even quiche would be a delightful pairing!